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ICYMI: Sergio Garcia’s 30-minute ruling fiasco explained

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While you were watching football and keeping an eye on the PGA Tour leaderboard as Marc Leishman romped to the BMW Championship win, you may have missed an extremely curious occurrence.

The short story is Sergio Garcia made an improbable par save at the par-5 18th hole at Conway Farms to slide into the top 30 and the FedEx Cup points standings and earn a spot in the Tour Championship.

The long story is long…like 30 minutes long. The Spaniard hit his approach shot into a hazard. After considering his options, Garcia consulted with rules official Stephen Cox. He then took two drops that resulted in the ball ending up closer to the hole, so he placed it on his third attempt.

“I knew if I got good contact on it, it would pop up and probably go in the grandstand behind the green,” Garcia said of his eventual third shot. “We started looking at that.”

Golf Channel’s Will Gray wrote about the logic of the ruled that allowed Garcia to drop

“While Rule 24-2 does not allow a player to take relief from a movable obstruction when in a hazard, Cox explained that the temporary nature of the obstruction made Garcia eligible to receive a free drop, provided he remained inside the hazard.

““(If) the player’s ball lies in a water hazard, he would not get relief from an immovable obstruction for like a sprinkler head,” Cox said. “We have very large structures which are situated very close to the water hazard which ordinarily wouldn’t be there, so the rules allow a player to get relief when his ball lies in a water hazard.””

After what amounted to perching his ball on a de facto rock tee, Garcia pitched a hot one over the green that ricocheted off the grandstands. He got up and down from par from where his ball ended up in the green-skirting rough.

“Because the grandstands are there, and the rules are there, I was able to take relief from it and it kind of worked out well for me,” Garcia said.

Indeed, it did. This isn’t quite as dubious as the Ballad of Charley Hoffman, Branden Grace and the Bunker Lining, but it’s, shall we say, a savvy application of the Rules of Golf.

Here’s a (mercifully condensed) video of the drama.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. 2putttom

    Sep 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    impatient tikes all over the place.

  2. Chuck

    Sep 20, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I didn’t have a chance to watch a lot of the BMW; but I did watch this incident and I thought it was fascinating. I wish that the announcers spent less time laughing about and apologizing for the delay, and spent more time describing what the Rules were and how Garcia was utilizing them.

    • RMF

      Sep 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

      the problem is they do not know the rules that are being discussed

  3. nyguy

    Sep 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    funny, we didn’t see any articles complaining about jordan spieth’s 30 min decision in the open.

    • RMF

      Sep 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

      I actually had a huge issue with Spieth’s ruling, not the decision itself it was the fact that the rules official told Spieth where to drop the ball in order to gain the the free drop on the side he wanted. once he took the unplayable the rules official should of offered no further advice until the ball the dropped then advised him of his options.

      I have been surprised very few people haven’t discussed it further

      • Mat

        Sep 21, 2017 at 2:31 am

        Discussing rules is legal, including potential outcomes.

  4. ABM

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    It should be 1 stroke penalty per 5 minutes of time spend on every ruling

  5. Dat

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I’d rather watch paint dry than a rules incident on the tour. Something must be done about these kinds of things.

  6. asugrad1988

    Sep 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    This is why I record every golf tournament so I can fast forward through stuff like this and I don’t have to watch the commercials either.

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19th Hole

Want to watch Rickie Fowler drive it 458 yards? Sure you do!

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I’m not about to act like Rickie Fowler had some Hulk-meets-Joe Miller moment at the Scottish Open and belted a drive more than 450 yards.

No, Dick Fowler, P.I.,was massively aided by baked out Gullane, the contours of the fairway, and likely a decent tailwind. Obviously. He’d certainly admit that fact, and it’s abundantly clear he smacked his drive down a concrete ski slope.

That said, a 458-yard drive is a 458-yard drive, and it’s a spectacle worth watching.

Check it out.

All credit to the Cobra King F8+ and Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 70X shaft; check out Fowler’s full WITB here.

Fowler finished tied for sixth place at 14-under.

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19th Hole

WATCH: Phil gets roasted, and other hilarious impressions of players at The 2018 Open Championship

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Impressionist/comedian Conor Moore has done impressions of golfers before, most notably his Masters edition (and this one), but he may have outdone himself with a new Open Championship video.

His impressions of Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson are scarily spot on. In the video, he roasts DJ’s laid back nature, Phil’s U.S. Open rules fiasco, Fleetwood’s hair, Tiger’s ability to dodge questions and Bubba’s propensity to shed some tears.

Watch the full video below (click here if the embed doesn’t work for you).

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods: “If I intimidate you, that’s your own (expletive) issue”

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In his heyday, Tiger Woods was one of the most intimidating athletes on the planet. I mean, does anyone dispute this? Woods demoralized and decimated his opponents, and he was happy to do so. Heck, his mother told him to step on his competitors’ necks…when he was a child!

For a period of time, there was no surer bet in the world of sports than a Tiger Woods win when he was in contention. He knew it. Fans knew it. Everyone else in the field knew it. Dude is 52-4 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead!

Things are a bit different now. Humbled, with a fused back and easier demeanor, Woods surely isn’t the fiery competitor who always showed up to tournaments expecting to win, is he?

Well, if that’s your opinion check out the gem Twitter user @donaldremington has had stashed away since a May Tiger Woods clinic (presumably at Tiger Jam in Las Vegas).

Warning: If you’re offended by graphic language, well, cover your ears.

Vintage.

While Woods may no longer intimidate competitors the way he once did (see: Casey, Paul at the Valspar Championship), he doesn’t seem to have developed any sympathy for those who can’t stand the heat in the kitchen.

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